The Root TV screenshot

Editor’s note: During Black History Month, the focus is usually on historical figures who loomed larger than life, paving the way for the progress we experience today. But black history isn’t just about telling stories of our past. History is being made every day and has been made throughout our lives; it’s not just in books. It walks among us. So this month The Root is asking writers and other notables about the personal and pivotal events from their own lifetimes in a series we call My Black History. Michael Eric Dyson is an ordained minister, a professor of sociology at Georgetown University and author of 19 books, including four New York Times best-sellers. His latest book is Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America.